Film Review – Enemy (2013)

Enemy - post

Title: Enemy (2013)

Director: Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners)

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Melanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon

Plot: When history teacher Adam (Gyllenhaal) discovers what seems to be his exact double in a movie he sets out to find just who this man is, leading him down a dark and mysterious road…

“Chaos is order yet undeciphered”

Review by Eddie on 7/07/2014

Mysterious, meticulously made and acted, moodily scored and movie making at it’s finest and most daring; upon watching Enemy you get the sense that what you are witnessing is a great film, but just how great a film it is you will decipher after the shocking ending and subsequent credits have finished rolling around in your head. Don’t doubt those willing to accept Denis Villeneuve’s film for what it is, as I very quickly established after exiting the cinema we have a new genre classic on our hands and therefore one of the years best but sadly lesser seen movies.

To talk too much about Enemy’s finely woven plot would be a huge disservice to the film and its makers and also viewers yet to partake in it’s unique and quite boundless intricacies. Enemy works on many levels and it’s steering hand is the ever amazing Denis Villeneuve, who after this effort and his previous films Prisoners and Incendies has quickly established himself as one of the most gifted and brave directors working today. Villeneuve’s Enemy is filmed articulately and with great sense of purpose, giving the film the oft sought after vibe of a 1970’s thriller that works to great effect with the story of Adam and his quest for answers in a mysterious web that you will be wholly caught up in. With the character of Adam, Villeneuve needed an actor on top of his game and after their great collaboration in Prisoners its fantastic to see a new director/actor partnership building with himself and the arguably never better Jake Gyllenhaal.

Playing two roles at once has never been an easy acting task, yet here Gyllenhaal can not be faulted in what is a performance that with the right marketing (and in lieu of movie politics) is certainly award worthy. Gyllenhaal inhabits both his roles with a vigour scarcely seen in acting these days, and the places in which his Adam goes to and we the audience discover with him are completely and utterly brilliantly played by the actor. It would of been easy for an actor to get lost in material that is not afraid to mess with logic and time, use symbolism as not only a red herring but a solidified story component and take audiences off guard with some downright confronting subject matters. It’s a credit to all involved that Enemy works the way in which it does without giving off an easy-to-read explanations or conformance to what we expect as a modern day movie loving public.

An absolute gem of a movie that is destined for a long life in the echelons of cult movie fandom, Enemy is a movie worthy of all the praise it may get and unquestionably more than it will receive thanks to its low key release and heavy subject. One of the most unique and downright masterful movies you’re likely to witness this year with an ending that surely must go down as an all time classic, Enemy is a film that should be on your must-watch list and if you find yourself unsure of what it’s all about upon conclusion research into this tale will only increase your appreciation for what is an extremely smart and near perfectly executed tale dealing with issues that in the modern day and age are all too familiar.

5 mysterious envelopes out of 5

(Couldn’t leave out an image of the movies ripping poster)

Enemy - poster



49 responses to “Film Review – Enemy (2013)

  1. Superb review! I just loved this one, Villeneuve managed to create a great film that complements the book. Never did I feel he gave Jose Saramago’s novel a disservice. Basically, you can never go wrong with Denis Villeneuve! As much as I wish for him to make a film back home in Quebec again, I can’t blame him for wanting to take advantage of his status in Hollywood. Can’t wait to see “Sicario” and “Story of Your Life” (Can you tell I’m a fan from Quebec?) 😉

    • He deserves all his fans mate! This was just a fantastic film and with 3 genre classics in their own right of Prisoners, Incendies and this he is fast becoming one of the industry’s most reliable directors.

  2. Hi Eddie, great review, and thanks for keeping the plot under wraps. This is one I’m looking forward to seeing in the next few days, so I’m also looking forward to seeing if I’ll feel the same about it as you did. Plus I wasn’t too impressed with Prisoners, so I’m hoping this will be a return to the form Villeneuve showed in Incendies (which was just amazing). Keep up the great movie choices!

    • Cheers Dullwood, I absolutely fell in love with this film just a work of a real master and the plot is layered in so many levels. Look forward to seeing what you think.

  3. My 5th best movie of the year that may crawl past the others with a second viewing. I loved it. I’ve been looking for paintings with giant spiders in the background for my apartment. Great film and great review of it.

    • Awesome Booth! I was thinking before how much I would like that poster up in my house somewhere, just great production design and imagery. I got even more out of it after a second watch and looked forward to buying it on Blu-Ray down the line. Cheers for the kind words mate.

  4. Great reviews guys! This is definitely one that is hard to describe. I really dug it and can’t wait to see more from this director/ team. I absolutely loved Prisoners, now I gotta see Incindies

  5. Good review Eddie. It’s a weird, rather strange kind of movie, but I think that’s the whole point behind it. If it wasn’t, it probably wouldn’t have worked as well as it does.

  6. Missed this one entirely, must watch, love Gyllenhaal unashamedly. Reminds me of this years ‘The Double’ in many more ways than one, which is a great film.

  7. Great review. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this but don’t recall it being in theaters. I guess I missed it. Nonetheless, Villeneuve earned my respect with the fantastic thriller that was Prisoners and based on that film’s excellence alone I feel happily obligated to see this. Would you say Incendies is worth watching as well and what is your favorite of the three?

    • You will not regret it mate. All 3 of Villeneuve’s films are quite something but if I had to pick one it would be Enemy although Incendies is one of the most unique and haunting drama/thrillers I have seen in all my time, a real classic.

  8. Such an original film. Loved the bone-chilling atmospherics. It kept me guessing till the end. Have to admit though, the last image scared me with its suddenness.

  9. Great review, Ed. Watched it a month ago or maybe earlier & as expected, it left me baffled. But then everything one needs to know is in the movie itself. Will watch it again soon but then it’s ambience is so uninviting! Although, there’s no denying that it’s yet another impressive feature in the director’s bag & he’s steadily rising as the filmmaker to look out for. His fav work in my opinion is Incendies. Haunted me for days 😀

    • His films seem to have that power to stick with you, he has a real feel for the tone of his pictures and construction of them. So glad you have seen Incendies to many people have missed seeing that one.

      • Polytechnique is another one of his good features in case you haven’t seen it yet.

        As for Incendies, I was in love with it from the moment it opens with an amazing Radiohead song that fitted this film so well!

      • Yeh mate how great was that start! Such a fine use of a really quality song.

        Seems like I have a few of his earlier films to check out 🙂

      • I am with you on that one Eddie, it would be good. It’s worth checking out, and I loved it, but I see that it is quite the divider of a film! 😛

  10. I couldn’t agree more that this movie was amazing. Every aspect of the movie coming together in perfection. Jake Gyllenhaal is definitely on my list of favorite actors.

    • Awesome to hear another fan! I found all elements of this movie to be nigh on perfect for what it was. Loved the direction, acting, music and tone, it just all added up to what is surely one of the years best 🙂

    • I think I watched it twice in two days, I found it really rewarded the viewer on another watch. There are so many things within this film just hidden throughout.

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